Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Audiologist?
An audiologist is a licensed health care professional who diagnoses, evaluates, and treats hearing disorders and communication problems/disorders. Such disorders include but are not limited to hearing, balance, and Tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
What training is required of an Audiologist?
Training for this profession requires a minimum of a 4-year undergraduate program followed by 2 years Masters program in an accredited University and finally a one-year fellowship program under a licensed audiologist. Robert Cohen, Director of R. Cohen Audiology Associates, holds his Doctorate in this field. All other audiologists on this staff hold the Masters degree.
A New York State license in Audiology is required as well as a license to dispense hearing aids in the State of New York.
How do I know if I have hearing loss?
Hearing loss affects over 20 million Americans each year. Symptoms usually present problems associated more with clarity of speech than the actual ability to hear. Often patients will complain that words are garbled or low and speech sounds are less distinct and distinguishable. Hearing loss is usually slowly progressive and initially noticed by well intentioned family members, elevated T.V., or an inability to hear in crowded restaurants, around a dinner table or in large venues like religious services or theaters.
What causes hearing loss?
There are many causes of hearing loss most if asked to guess would respond — AGING.
However, that is generally not accurate. In fact in the vast majority of cases, genetics plays a much stronger role. Even the medications we take, the illnesses we suffer or the noise that we submit ourselves to on a daily basis can influence our hearing later in life.
Can hearing loss cause other problems?
Besides the obvious problem of not being able to hear properly, hearing loss can often lay groundwork for emotional problems such as depression and isolation. Avoiding social situations is often a by product of hearing loss as well as strife and difficulty with spouses and family members.
What are some types of hearing loss?
Hearing loss is generally divided in to three types of loss. Conductive hearing loss usually is as a result of a disturbance in the ‘conduction’ of sound along the pathways of the external and middle ear portions of the ear. They includes eardrum perforations, excessive earwax problems, middle ear bone problems and/or fluid in the middle ear space.
Sensorineural hearing loss is as a result of inner ear problems associated with the cochlea or snail like structure that sits sits beyond the middle ear system. These are most often the problem with the vast majority of patients seeking help.
Finally, there is a combination of these two causes, referred to as a mixed hearing loss.
What will happen when I come to see the audiologist? How will I know if hearing aids will help?
Our office manager will ask that you fill out a patient information sheet. This is confidential information that includes your name, address, insurance information and reason for visit.
The audiologist will take a case hx concerning your hearing as well as other pertinent medical information. Following that, a complete audiologic evaluation will be performed. This is significantly different than the ‘free’ hearing evaluations advertised offered by some offices. Test results are then reviewed and when appropriate, a demonstration of your hearing aid with it’s proper prescriptive circuit is performed.
Will insurance cover the cost of your hearing aids?
It may. We participate in many health care plans. Review and understand your insurance plan and contact your insurance provider and/or our office manger , to understand your benefits. More often, there is an ‘allowance’ provided that will cover a portion of your hearing aids.
I think I may need hearing aids-what should I do?
If you think you may need hearing aids you should have an evaluation performed by a licensed audiologist before making a purchase. Many audiologists prescribe, fit and sell hearing aids. Audiologists are registered with the Department of State and are licensed by the State Education Department.